School efficiency reviews consist of two components: 1) deploying
auditors and management specialists from the state's Department
of Planning and Budget (DPB) to conduct intensive reviews of
individual school systems, helping them realize greater efficiencies
and identifying good practices that can be shared with other school
divisions; and 2) conducting a statewide performance review to
give parents, policymakers, and all taxpayers a clear picture of
how their schools are performing.
The individual school system reviews under Education for a Lifetime
are modeled after successful programs in Texas and Arizona, where
they have led to savings of as much as $750 million.
The goal of the reviews is to identify savings
that can be gained through best practices in organization, service
delivery, human resources, facilities, finance, transportation,
technology management and other non-instructional expenditures
-- thereby allowing divisions to put administrative savings back
into the classroom for an even greater investment in our children.
The emphasis of the reviews is to identify and generate
savings through administrative and management best
practices. This is not a review of classroom instruction or student
Potential Savings Realized
Governor Warner's i nitiative began with pilot reviews
in three volunteer school divisions - New Kent and Roanoke Counties
and the City of Richmond. These divisions combined found cost savings
of nearly $3 million.
For example, the Richmond City Public Shools Division identified over $2 million in potential savings in areas such as energy efficiency and bus personnel overtime, while others cited leveraged purchasing of goods and services and consolidation of support staff as ways to reduce costs.
Since the initial pilot, an additional 6 school systems have conducted reviews, for a total net savings of $6.8 million. These include the public school systems in Campbell County, Williamsburg-James City County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, Surry County, and the City of Portsmouth.
Final Efficiency Review reports are made available to the public as they are released. You may access all completed reports on the Department of Education Web site.
Pilot Goes Permanent
Two benefits that have emerged from these reviews have been
1) a stronger understanding within pilot communities of how
their schools spend tax dollars, and as a result, 2) a greater
trust in what is being done with these monies.
While opportunities for savings were found for each division,
recommendations for additional investments have also been included. Best
practices have been highlighted as well.
Based on the success
of these pilot programs, Governor Warner proposed legislation to
the 2005 General Assembly providing for regular efficiency reviews. HB
1967 -- which received near-unanimous support in both houses
and was signed into law in March 2005 -- provides that DPB manage
efficiency reviews on an ongoing basis. A
total of $1,182,000 is appropriated for the program for the 2005-2006
# # # #